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Belize is one of the winners of the IDB Superheroes of Development 2021 Initiative

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Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2021. 6:20 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group today announced the four winners of the Superheroes of Development 2021 Initiative’s fourth edition, and Belize is one of them.

The Development 2021 Initiative “recognizes creative and innovative solutions during the execution of IDB Group-financed development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said an IDB statement.

The four winning projects are one each from Belize and El Salvador, and two from Ecuador. They were chosen from a total of 91 proposals submitted.

The IDP Group said the proposals “are testimony that no matter how adverse the conditions, superheroes manage to meet their goals of improving the quality of life in their own countries”.

Belize’s entry is “Inquiry and problem-based Learning” which was implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Technology of Belize (MOESCT).

The proposal said that Belize’s teacher-centered pedagogy that was traditionally used in the country was producing deficient outcomes with only two out of every five schoolchildren completing primary school studies in the eight-year term. The pedagogy in question centered on memorization of formulas and text recitation.

To change this, the MOESCT launched the “Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP), which provided teachers with two years of training under a pedagogy called ‘Inquiry and problem-based Learning,’ where teachers become facilitators, observers and guides, and students learn how to think and solve problems in collaboration with their classmates”.

This initiative produced better results “without any increase in schooling time or investment in expensive equipment, the simple change in pedagogical focus sufficed.”

The IDP Group said the judging panel comprised IDB Group senior management members.

“It is crucial to systematize the lessons learned and the success and failure stories and share them with other executing agencies that may be facing the same challenges,” Knowledge & Learning Division Chief Lorena Rodríguez Bu said. “As an institution, the IDB Group is constantly learning new things.”

The other winning initiatives are:

1. Inclusion and citizen participation that transformed the habitat of the precarious urban settlement Las Palmeras de El Salvador in El Salvador. The initiative was implemented by the Vulnerability Reduction in Precarious Urban Settlements in the San Salvador Metropolitan Area Program of the Public Works, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Ministry.

2. ICTs for inclusion in times of COVID-19 in Ecuador, implemented by the Asociación Fe y Alegría Ecuador.

3. Rural cadaster in Ecuador: free and participatory technology for land governance, implemented by SIGTIERRAS, the National Information, Rural Land Management and Technological Infrastructure System of Ecuador’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries.

The IDB Group said that “As part of IDB Academy’s efforts to spread the lessons learned, winners will take part in a virtual discussion open to the region with IDB Group President Mauricio Claver-Carone, where they will present their projects and share their experiences.”

Apart from that, the IDB Academy will compile and publish the stories of the eight finalists and disseminate them widely to contribute to improve both project execution and new operations preparation.

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